May 31, 2011

Reports submitted, time for decision

Indian team coach Harendra Singh, team manager for Sultan Azlan Shah Col. Balbir Singh, team fitness trainer and team physiotherapist have all submitted their report on the poor show during Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament 2011 and now it is time for the Hockey India techinal committee to take decision regarding the future. The committee which includes Hockey India's development committee head Pargat Singh. Singh along with 9 others will take the decision on the future of Indian hockey.

The first person under spotlight is the coach Harendra Singh. The performance of the team in Sultan Azlan Shah did not go well with the officials and he might receive the boot. But due to very limited options available and support from Ministry of Sports (MoS is keen to have him as a coach) might work in the favor of Harendra Singh and he may stay with the team.

Pargat Singh is very keen to have a foreign coach for the Indian team (Hockey India had pursued Paul Lissek but due to delay in selection, he slipped out of the hands of Hockey India) but it seems impossible that his wish may be granted so as a protest he might also resign from his post Pargat Singh was also not consulted during selection of Harendra Singh as a coach.

Team fitness has come out as the main reason for the team's unimpressive performance in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Balbir Singh said that the coach Harendra Singh knowingly took unfit players for Sultan Azlan Shah.

Team fitness trainer Dr. Pradip Dutta might be fired (removed) from his post due to fitness concerns which came out during the tournament. But it should also be noted that he did not have proper equipments to train the players and had to bring the equipments from the Nehru Stadium to train the players for the tournament.

So the biggest question here is what lies in the future of Harendra Singh. He has support of MoS and also the fact that Hockey India is no longer recognized by the MoS will work in the favor of Harendra Singh. Indian team has Champions Trophy and Olympic games qualifier lined up and it will be disastrous for Indian Hockey if the team does not qualify again.

Both Hockey India and Ministry of Sports should think properly and take decision about whom should they pursue as a right coach for the Indian Hockey team. One wrong step will take India back to square one and it will be very hard to get back.

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(News source: Indian Express)

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